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Electric Hydrogen secures $100m in corporate credit financing

The funding was led by HSBC, with participation from J.P. Morgan, Stifel Bank, and Hercules Capital.

Electric Hydrogen has secured $100m in corporate credit financing to support manufacturing and deployment of their 100 MW electrolyzer plants, which enable the lowest cost production of green hydrogen, the company said in a news release.

The funding was led by HSBC, with participation from J.P. Morgan, Stifel Bank, and Hercules Capital.

Electric Hydrogen, headquartered in Natick, MA, is leading critical industries such as steel, fertilizer, shipping and aviation towards decarbonization with its powerful, U.S.-manufactured electrolyzers, designed to deliver the lowest cost green hydrogen on earth.

“For more than 150 years, HSBC has been supporting businesses as they scale and transform industries worldwide,” said Matt Perlow, Director, HSBC Innovation Banking. “Our focus on financing innovative companies like Electric Hydrogen aligns with our mission of providing best-in-class banking services for our clients at every stage of their growth cycle. Clean technology and sustainability remain top priorities at HSBC, and we are thrilled to support Electric Hydrogen’s deployment of large-scale electrolyzer plants in its mission to decarbonize critical industries.”

“This facility marks a step-change in Electric Hydrogen’s access to capital and overall maturity as a business. With credit backing from some of the world’s largest and most well-known banks, we are well positioned to deliver gigawatts of electrolyzer plants in the coming years and enable our customers to meet their decarbonization goals,” states Derek Warnick, the company’s Chief Financial Officer.

Electric Hydrogen recently announced $65m in total Department of Energy support and $50m in equipment financing from Trinity Capital to scale its U.S. manufacturing at its Devens, MA gigafactory, one of the largest electrolyzer factories in the country. The gigafactory’s first electrolyzer stacks will be shipped later this year to a customer-sited project in southeast Texas. Electric Hydrogen also announced a 1 GW framework supply agreement with The AES Corporation last quarter.

“At J.P. Morgan, we are focused on serving companies who are helping decarbonize industries and building the green economy. We are pleased to support Electric Hydrogen in their next phase of growth, as they bring their 100MW electrolyzer plants to customers worldwide,” says Eric Cohen, Head of Green Economy Banking at J.P. Morgan Commercial Banking.

“Given the growing demand for cost-competitive, zero-carbon green hydrogen, we are excited to partner with Electric Hydrogen’s industry-leading team to help accelerate its manufacturing rollout and support deployment of their 100 MW electrolyzer plants,” remarks Greg Peterson, Managing Director of Hercules Capital.

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SOEC electrolyzer maker Sunfire attracts EUR 500m

German electrolyzer maker Sunfire added new equity investors including GIC and secured a loan from the European Investment Bank.

The German electrolyzer manufacturer Sunfire has raised EUR 215 million in a Series E equity financing round, further complemented by a term loan of up to EUR 100 million provided by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

In addition, Sunfire has access to approx. EUR 200 million from previously approved, undrawn grant funding to support its growth, according to a news release. This makes Sunfire one of the best capitalized electrolyzer manufacturers in the industry.

Sunfire announces the successful completion of a substantial Series E financing round, raising EUR 215 million in equity capital. The new investment will further boost the company’s critical role in ramping up the hydrogen economy. Sunfire welcomes LGT Private Banking, GIC, Ahren Innovation Capital, and Carbon Equity as new investors. The transaction is subject to customary regulatory approvals and is expected to close in Q2 2024.

Sunfire-CEO Nils Aldag said, “This substantial financing round is good news for Europe’s leading role in hydrogen production and for the European clean-tech industry. I am delighted to welcome additional investors backing our vision, product offering, and capabilities to deliver industrial electrolyzers at pace and scale. With this new capital, we are uniquely positioned to further accelerate our company’s growth and industrialization plans to meet the fast-growing demand for electrolysis technologies.”

In addition to the new investors, existing shareholders have increased their investment in Sunfire – among them Lightrock, Planet First Partners, Carbon Direct Capital, the Amazon Climate Pledge Fund, and Blue Earth Capital.

In line with Sunfire’s commitment to financial diversification, the company has also secured a credit of up to EUR 100 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB), which provides increased capacity to boost its development and industrialization of solid oxide electrolyzers.

Sunfire’s pressurized alkaline and high-temperature solid oxide electrolysis technologies are a key enabler of the transition to renewable energy, offering a scalable and efficient means of producing green hydrogen. The company targets installing several gigawatts of electrolysis equipment by 2030 in large-scale green hydrogen projects, securing a leading position in the fast-growing global electrolyzer market.

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NY awards $12.7m to three hydrogen projects

Governor Kathy Hochul has awarded USD 16.6m for five long duration energy storage projects, including USD 12.7m for three hydrogen plans.

Governor Kathy Hochul has awarded USD 16.6m for five long duration energy storage projects, including USD 12.7m for three hydrogen plans.

The Governor also said that an additional USD 17m in competitive funding is available for projects that advance development and demonstration of scalable innovative long duration energy storage technologies, according to a press release.

The projects will support the current Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to install 3,000 MW of energy storage by 2030 while facilitating further development to 6,000 MW.

The USD 12.7m in awards will support the following hydrogen projects:

  • Nine Mile Point Nuclear Station, LLC- USD 12.5m – To demonstrate nuclear-hydrogen fueled peak power generation paired with a long duration hydrogen energy storage unit to help reduce emissions from the New York Independent System Operator electric grid.
  • Power to Hydrogen – USD 100,000 – To develop a Reversible Fuel Cell System for Hydrogen Production and Energy Storage called the Clean Energy Bridge and to help facilitate the system’s readiness for demonstration and commercial adoption.
  • ROCCERA, LLC – USD 100,000 – To evaluate and demonstrate a novel commercially viable Solid Oxide Electrolyzer Cell prototype for clean hydrogen production together with a corresponding scalable, more efficient manufacturing process, the release states.

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Air Products nearing project finance mega-deal for green ammonia facility

The Pennsylvania-based company is nearing completion of a $8.5bn project finance deal, which includes more than 20 global financial institutions and will fund its NEOM green ammonia facility in Saudi Arabia.

Air Products will now pursue a project finance mega-deal to build the NEOM Green Hydrogen Complex in Saudi Arabia.

The company and its partners will close a non-recourse debt deal for $6.2bn “very soon” to finance the project, CEO Seifi Ghasemi said today on an investor call.

The debt will sit alongside $2.3bn of combined equity from Air Products, NEOM, and ACWA Power, representing a 75%/25% debt to equity split.

Air Products, which is the sole offtaker for the facility, will now invest approximately $800m of cash into the project instead of the original $1.7bn.

Meanwhile, the cost of the project – which consists of 4 GW of renewables powering production of up to 600 tons per day of hydrogen – has climbed to $8.5bn compared to an original capital estimate of $5bn, according to the presentation.

But, Ghasemi added, the offtake price of the green ammonia to Air Products remains the same as what was negotiated in July 2020 when the project was announced.

“We are project financing this thing with some of the biggest banks in the world giving us money,” Ghasemi said. “They have looked at this project […] and they’re willing to finance it, so I guess they all think this is a good project and a good prospect and they’re going to get their money back.”

Ghasemi noted there could be some upside for additional hydrogen production at the facility when compared to the initial design.

The significant amount of wind, solar, and electrolyzer capacity installed at the site, Ghasemi said, “might end up giving us the capability of making a lot more than the 1.2 million tons per year.”

“I personally think they’re could be an upside, but we’ll have to wait and see,” he added.

The executive said the company evaluates projects individually as to whether it will pursue project financing. Among other projects, Air Products is also building the Net-Zero Hydrogen Energy Complex in Alberta, Canada which will not use project financing, Ghasemi said. The company will “look at” using project financing for its mega-scale Texas green hydrogen project with AES, he added.

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Exclusive: Inside Strata’s P2X strategy

Strata Clean Energy is seeking to engage with global chemical, energy, and shipping companies as a potential partner for a pipeline of green hydrogen projects that will have FIDs in 2025 and CODs later this decade.

Strata Clean Energy is developing a pipeline of green hydrogen projects that will produce large amounts of green ammonia and other hydrogen derivatives later this decade.

Mike Grunow, executive vice president and general manager of Strata’s Power-to-X platform, said in an interview that the company is investing in the development of proprietary modeling and optimization software that forms part of its strategy to de-risk Power-to-X projects for compliance with strict 45V tax credit standards.

“We’re anticipating having the ability to produce substantial amounts of low-carbon ammonia in the back half of this decade from a maturing pipeline of projects that we’ve been developing, and we’re looking to collaborate with global chemical, energy, and shipping companies on the next steps for these projects,” he said.

Strata’s approach to potential strategic offtakers could also include the partner taking an equity stake in projects, “with the right partner,” Grunow said. The projects are expected to reach FID in 2025.

Grunow declined to comment on the specific size or regional focus of the projects.

“We aspire for the projects to be as large as possible,” he said. “All of the projects are in deep discussions with the regional transmission providers to determine the schedule at which more and more transmission capacity can be made available.”

Strata will apply its expertise in renewable energy to the green hydrogen industry, he said, which involves the deployment of unique combinations of renewable energy, energy storage, and energy trading to deliver structured products to large industrial clients, municipal utilities and regulated utilities.

The company “commits to providing 100% hourly matched renewable energy over a guaranteed set of hours over the course of an entire year for 10 – 20 years,” Grunow said.

“It’s our expectation that the European regulations and more of the global regulations, and the guidance from the US Treasury will require that the clean energy supply projects are additional, deliverable within the same ISO/RTO, and that, eventually, the load of the electrolyzer will need to follow the production of the generation,” he said.

Strata’s strategy for de-risking compliance with the Inflation Reduction Act’s 45V revenue stream for green hydrogen will give asset-level lenders certainty on the delivery of a project’s IRA incentives.

“Right now, if I’m looking at a project with an hourly matched 45V revenue stream, I have substantial doubt about that project’s ability to actually staple the hourly matched RECs to the amount of hydrogen produced in an hour, to the ton of hydrogen derivative,” he said.

During the design phase, developers evaluate multiple electrolyzer technologies, hourly matching of variable generation, price uncertainty and carbon intensity of the grid, plant availability and maintenance costs along with evolving 45V compliance requirements.

Meanwhile, during the operational phase, complex revenue streams need to be optimized. In certain markets with massive electrical loads, an operator has the opportunity to earn demand response and ancillary service revenues, Grunow said.

Optimal operations

“The key to maximizing the value of these assets is optimal operations,” he said, noting project optionality between buying and selling energy, making and storing hydrogen, and using hydrogen to make a derivative such as ammonia or methanol.

Using its software, Strata can make a complete digital twin of a proposed plant in the design phase, which accounts for the specifications of the commercially available electrolyzer families.

Strata analyzes an hourly energy supply schedule for every project it evaluates, across 8,760 hours a year and 20 years of expected operating life. It can then cue up that digital project twin – with everything known about the technology options, their ability to ramp and turn down, and the drivers of degradation – and analyze optimization for different electrolyzer operating formats. 

“It’s fascinating right now because the technology development cycle is happening in less than 12 months, so every year you need to check back in with all the vendors,” he said. “This software tool allows us to do that in a hyper-efficient way.”

A major hurdle the green hydrogen industry still needs to overcome, according to Grunow, is aligning the commercial aspects of electrolysis with its advances in technological innovation.

“The lender at the project level needs the technology vendor to take technology and operational risk for 10 years,” he said. “So you need a long-term service agreement, an availability guarantee, key performance metric guarantees on conversion efficiency,” he said, “and those guarantees must have liquidated damages for underperformance, and those liquidated damages must be backstopped by a limitation of liability and a domestic entity with substantial credit. Otherwise these projects won’t get financed.”

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Mobility solutions provider to raise up to EUR 200m

Quantron, the German and US-based mobility solutions provider, is set to launch a capital raise that could entail the sale of up to 20% equity.

Quantron, the German and US-based mobility solutions provider, is set to launch a capital raise that could entail the sale of up to 20% equity, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

The company is seeking between EUR 150m and EUR 200m in the process, the sources said, implying a valuation of up to EUR 1bn.

Quantron, which recently expanded into North America with the opening of an office in Detroit, will also consider debt as a part of the raise, one of the sources said.

At a ceremony at the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce (DGIC) in Washington D.C. on 12 October, Quantron signed a deal to supply TMP Logistics with 500 Class 8 trucks. The trucks will be operated by Quantron’s as-a-service (QaaS) vertical; they are scheduled for delivery in 2024.

Quantron AG CEO Michael Perschke told ReSource at that event that the company is in discussions with US investors about the capital raise, which has not formally launched but is tentatively scheduled to wrap up in 2Q23. Quantron is also in pre-closure discussions with several US law firms.

A fourth source said Quantron has worked with Danish consulting firm Ramboll Group on past deals.

Perschke said his company has relationships with PwC and EY, the latter especially on IPO readiness.

Quantron in September closed on a EUR 50m Series A with NASDAQ-listed Ballard Power Systems and German machinery manufacturer Neuman & Esser as investors.

Looking forward the company would like to work with a US strategic or private equity interest committed to hydrogen.

Utilities or corporates investing in hydrogen production but still building out the offtake structure would be of interest to Quantron, Perschke said. He noted that private equity interest like Ardian’s HY24 and Beam Capital are also active in the space.

Quantron is in the final stages of a deal with an oil company that Perschke declined to name, but said the company has 2,000 fueling stations across Europe that they are considering for conversion to hydrogen.

Perschke said his company plans to build out its presence in California and then could look for expansion in the northeast, Gulf Coast or Canada. The company aims to be an early mover in US hydrogen-fueled long-haul trucking along with peer Nikola Motor.

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Denbury to transport CO2 for Louisiana blue methanol project

A subsidiary of Denbury Inc. will transport and store CO2 for a planned blue methanol plant in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Denbury Carbon Solutions has executed a 20-year definitive agreement to provide CO2 transportation and storage services to Lake Charles Methanol in association with that company’s planned 3.6 MMPTA blue methanol project, according to a press release.

LCM’s facility will be located along the Calcasieu River near Lake Charles, Louisiana, approximately 10 miles from Denbury’s Green Pipeline.

The facility is designed to utilize Topsoe’s SynCORTM technology to convert natural gas into hydrogen which will be synthesized into methanol while incorporating carbon capture and sequestration.

The process is anticipated to deliver more than 500 million kilograms of hydrogen per year as a feedstock to produce the 3.6 MMTPA of blue methanol.

LCM is finalizing its major permits to begin construction. The project is expected to reach a Final Investment Decision in 2023 with first production anticipated in 2027.

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